GP locums are being invited to join the third pilot of a remote consulting service, powered by LocumDeck.
Once the system has been through its final pilot, clinical directors hope to roll it out nationwide on the NHS.
The pilot will run from September 2021 to the end of November 2021.
- Minimum time commitment is a single session during the pilot period.
- Locums can consult using a laptop, Mac or PC; all they need is a smartcard reader.
The service works in a different way to other remote working processes:
- The practice contracts directly with the individual GP locum, according to the locum’s usual terms and conditions, and has access to all their compliance docs and credentials through LocumDeck.
- The GP locum then makes themselves available to be booked for whatever type of remote session the locum is offering, usually tailoring it to a request from the practice.
- The locum has full access to the practice’s clinical IT system (Emis or SystmOne only, at this stage), the patient’s full medical record, and clinical tools. They can refer to local hospital, and request bloods.
Dr Richard Fieldhouse, chair of NASGP, said: “We are now ready for a third wave of testing, providing a limited number of NASGP members the opportunity to be part of this latest pilot.
“As the last 18 months has clearly demonstrated, it is not always practical or possible for practices to physically get hold of GP locum to come into the practice to support their patients, and the options to enable locums to support practices remotely have either been absent or unwieldy, or not able to allow the locums to access the full patient record.
“So as well as locums being able to offer regular in-person sessions to their usual practices, with this system they’ll also be able to offer sessions when they’re unable to get to the practice, or for when the practice has no consulting rooms spare that day, or is closed.
“And also this service will be able to support practices and patients in areas that have struggled to recruit or retain GPs – helping to reduce inequality – without using private providers, and enabling those locums to provide more continuity for those practices.
“We will work on a first-come first-served basis in partnership with practices and providers in Devon, along with our IT provider. We’ve also improved the onboarding process to help locums get set up onto the remote support platform.”